Issue: 2016-11-16, PHOTO: courtesy of Bill Mann
Geologist Bill Mann and colleague in the field
Local geologist Bill Mann remembers when the Yukon Geoscience Forum was a couple of days of technical talks.
Now it’s the premier post-season industry event in the territory, and everyone is invited to take part at the High Country Inn from Nov. 19 to 22.
Saturday, Nov. 19 is the Yukon Chamber of Mines’ Family Day and on Sunday the Forum Trade Show showcases the industry. Monday the Core Shack opens with drilling samples of recent prospects.
Mann, an independent consultant, hasn’t missed the Geoscience Forum since the late ’80s.
“If you live and work in this territory it’s the best way to maintain contacts and find out what’s going on in mining,” he says.
Over the last 10 years he’s seen much more participation from First Nations and the environmental sectors.
Presenting the keynote address at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning is former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine of the Sagkeeng Nation, which is in what is also called Manitoba. First Nations are Canada’s fastest growing demographic and mining’s closest partner. Fontaine is noted for bringing forward ideas for mutual success.
Fontaine is followed by Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair of Regional Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan. The nationally acclaimed historian and policy researcher was raised in Whitehorse. His latest book, From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation: A Roadmap for all Canadians, is a guidebook on building meaningful relations with all industry players.
On Sunday is the Forum Trade Show. Chamber of Mines and Yukon College representatives will be on hand to discuss scholarships for education in mining, reclamation and to sponsor First Nation students to the new Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining school.
“The most important thing for me at the forum is the networking and socializing,” Mann says.
And while there is some opportunity for miners to raise money on an individual basis, every day of the forum is filled with technical talks.
New to the program is the inclusion of Yukon school children in sessions. Classes will tour the forum to learn about the industry directly from the experts in the field.
“The technical talks are the quickest and easiest way to update my knowledge and learn about new ideas in the industry,” he says. “I get an idea of the latest of discoveries and advancements from my friends and associates.”
Geologists know private companies keep their finds to themselves, but public bodies such as the Yukon Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada, plus universities, use the forum to share mineral discoveries with the public.
The Climate Change Secretariat offers information for people interested in innovations in environmental geology.
Although production is down currently, junior mining companies are receiving more interest on the stock exchange. As a result, “interest in exploration has picked up,” Mann says.
This year’s forum will give a hint at what’s up for next year and give companies time to firm up deals before late winter, when geologists gear up for another season.
The 2016 Yukon Geoscience Forum and Trade Show runs Nov. 19 to 22 at the High Country Inn. To see the agenda and register to attend, go to YukonGeoscience.ca.
One of the partnership initiatives at the Trade Show is with the Klondike Placer Miners’ Association, McBride Museum, the Copperbelt Railway and the Mining Museum. The MacBride Museum will undertake gold panning activities as part of Family Day at the trade show from 10:00 – 2:00 on Saturday, November 19th. The Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum will have students circulate and ask the exhibitors a question in order to enter a draw to win an ipad donated by the Workers’ Compensation Board. This year’s question ‘What do you do to keep your workers safe?’ commemorates the 100thAnniversary of the Pueblo Mine disaster.